Aztecs At ELA Today

Glenn Parsons
Date Published: 
Pasedena Star-News

Still without a loss in their short, but extremely successful history, the Los Angeles Aztecs will meet Mexico's Club America when they resume action against first division soccer competition today at 3 p.m. in the East Los Angeles College Stadium.

The Aztecs, just off their second victory over Mexican first division clubs in as many outings, will take on one of the world's richest pro soccer clubs in their third of four tuneups for North American Soccer League action, which begins May 5 against the Seattle Sounders.

While the Aztecs have been sparked by such performances as goalie Kelvin Barclay's 14 saves last weekend against Atlante and Montebello forward Jerry Kazarian's game-saving goals in each of the first two contests. Club America is a team with as many stars as money can buy.

Its lineup features 11 international stars, including three Chilean internationals who will start for their nation in the World Cup this summer.

The Chilean trio is led by Osvaldo Castro who scored three times last Sunday against Leon (Mexico) to overtake Milton Carlos of Monterrey (the Aztecs' first victim) as Mexico's leading scorer with 24 goals.

"America has always had a reputation to stand behind," Aztec coach Alex Perolli said. "Because of America's big money (the club is owned by Emilo Escaraga, considered the richest man in Mexico), it has always been the most hated team in Mexico."

But with the Aztec victories over two of Mexico's top pro teams, the embryo Los Angeles team is not exactly popular south of the border.

"You can be sure America will be ready to play a strong game against us," Perolli ventured. "We have proved that we do not play with luck. Our team has shown something the past two weeks."